Addiction Behaviors In The Hobby...

  1. C

    ChiefBrody Valued Member Member

    My concern is the admittedly out of control habits surrounding "MTS" etc. Why is it acceptable to behave this way with aquariums but not food or controlled substances or sex? Will any of you honestly engage with me and confront this issue? Have you seen particularly negative outcomes as far as becoming withdrawn or emotionally disconnected by obsessively keeping fish? From my experience the best fishkeepers are "eccentric" and poor communicators usually in the throws of a deep depression. Do any of you agree or is this just my problem?
     
  2. grantm91

    grantm91 Fishlore VIP Member

    I disagree and agree, with me as I'm not very creative with much else in life this is a massive release of creativity scaping corals to rocks or chopping pots and laying a tank out or making diy things, researching, learning, even sharing on here is a big part i enjoy, the lists endless. I can see it does get out of hand with some people, even as a keen fish keeper if my partner started filling the house with tanks id go mad, I'm all about neatness and not going over the top even though i have 3 tanks i think thats a lot.
     
  3. PraptiPanda

    PraptiPanda Valued Member Member

    Hmmm... This is a very interesting topic. I personally am a very intense introvert and hate socializing. And it's not just fish - I love all animals! Fish help with anxiety and if not that, then I always leave the fish room smiling! I don't think fish keepers are withdrawn, they just prefer the company of something that will never judge them or complain about every little thing...
    Just my two cents :)
     


  4. kabellem

    kabellem Valued Member Member

    I'll chime in - as a new fishkeeper myself, I will admit that I bought my fish tank on an impulse in hopes that it would help my depression. And it has! I also think that as with many other hobbies (golf, video games, crafting in general come to mind) you will find people that take it to an extreme level. Because they are so invested in their hobby, these people are the one's we can see as experts in that area. I think it only becomes a problem when the hobby causes a person's actual personality to change, damages relationships, jobs, and causes true financial distress. I personally love each individual's eccentricities. Also, FWIW at least in writing - the people here who seem to be more or less "obsessed" with fish are some of the best communicators on forums I've seen.
     
  5. Ohio Mark

    Ohio Mark Well Known Member Member

    I think any hobby can become addictive if one lets it, but I'm going to make a guess that there are not a huge number of obsessively addicted hobbyists and by that I mean people whose family and/or social life suffer because of the hobby. (I almost added finances then realized this is not the cheapest of hobbies, but it's a wholesome, safe hobby and my wife would add it's a hobby that is close to home. It's not like my hobby takes me off on trips away from the family or puts me at physical risk.) GrantM91 made very good points about neatness & creativity. I enjoy the forum, too. It's educational and I enjoy "connecting" with people on this forum.
     
  6. toolman

    toolman Well Known Member Member

    Ohio Mark, you are correct this hobby is very educationaland social. I work nights and when I come home nobody is here, they're already at school or work. This forum beats TV and I learn how to be a better fishkeeper too.
     


  7. KimberlyG

    KimberlyG Fishlore VIP Member

    I think that with any hobby, it varies from person to person. We are exposed to a lot of different fish on this site that you normally do not see in the stores. It's like collecting. "Oh, I need that fish!". Because not all fish that you may want are compatible with each other, we end up with multiple, multiple tanks.
    I myself am an extreme introvert. People are not my thing, but I love animals and have had quite a variety over the years due to the interests of the children. I have had my mbuna tank for over 30 years. Aside from a betta here and there, that was the only tank running while the children were growing up and I was working. After the last child left, I decided to expand my fishkeeping and get a small community tank to house some of the fish I had as a child. I ran into an illness I had never seen and ended up here. That was probably a mistake. lol.
    I do suffer from anxiety from time to time. While I was very busy with the children and work it was much easier to keep those feelings under the surface. Moving around a quite house allows those feelings to come to the forefront. When they do, nothing calms me better than watching the fish.
     


  8. O

    OnTheFly Well Known Member Member

    In all my hobbies I seek out socialization with like minded individuals. Some long-term friendships have formed over the years. PMs, phone calls, even visits to at least a half dozen states to meet some of them. But I am obsessive when it comes to collecting more stuff than I really need, and I end up selling some of it for a significant loss when I realize I am out of control. Whether fish keeping, flyfishing, gardening, classic trucks or drag racing, the first year or two I take it over the top every time.
     
  9. BettaPonic

    BettaPonic Well Known Member Member

    I admit it's kind of an addiction. I focus on two things my three closest friends and my fish/plants.
     
  10. THE HABITAT

    THE HABITAT Well Known Member Member

    I've been wanting a fishtank for a long time..I live alone and after my black lab of 8 years pass away from cancer I slipped into a depression so on an impulse one night I went to the potatoes and bought an Aqueon 8.8 set up and a few days later built a stand for it cycled it and added a couple MM platy and a couple danios and could tell right away it was too small so so I built a stand after I got the proper dimensions for a 55 cycled it n did all the necessary things ..then came home one day to about 20 guppy fry so back to the store I went for a 10 gallon and it's all cycled and good to go...so as it stands I have those three tanks about 20-25 fish and about 30 fry....it seems to ease the pain when I come home and they all fly to the top of the tank even tho all they wanna do is eat :)..it will never replace the love and affection a dog can give so once summer comes to an end I think I'll be ready for a dog...thanks for listening...great great topic...sorry if I went off track ....best site around hands down!!!!
     
  11. dansamy

    dansamy Valued Member Member

    There are addiction behaviors seen in many hobbies. I also have excellent slr gear and many photography enthusiasts have what we refer to as GAS "gear acquisition syndrome". Then you have video gamers who chew through content like locusts and move on to the next game. Gamblers chasing their next win. Storage auction buyers looking for paydirt.
     
  12. vikingkirken

    vikingkirken Well Known Member Member

    I don't think it's an "addiction" thing, I think it is a "time and resources management" thing. Like @OnTheFly, I have a tendency to overdo in the first year or two of a hobby or interest. Then I come to my senses, scale back to a reasonable level, and get things back in balance. I'd like to think that over the years, I'm getting better at not overdoing in the first place. But I do learn an awful lot in that initial all-in, and I drag the whole family along--I like to think it keeps their lives interesting :D So I don't think it's all bad. I think that's how learning happens best and most-naturally, actually. I wish schools were run more like that... But I'm an unschooler at heart, and I'm drifting off topic...
     
  13. Bettanewb

    Bettanewb Well Known Member Member

    I think for me at least it's just about being passionate and enthusiastic about something not so much an addictionits just a nice distraction from the same old same of going to work coming home and doing it all over again every week.
     
  14. Anders247

    Anders247 Fishlore Legend Member

    I'm an extrovert (I prefer to be with other people, not myself), but I when I get into a collection, I always want more and more. I think it has to do with greed, personally.....
     
  15. N

    Natalya Well Known Member Member

    It's funny, I personally think it's making me more normal...I used to be extremely introverted, in those times, I hated to have to take care of anything, because it was distracting me from being inside my own mind. Now I have a child, a cat, fish, soon will have crabs, hopefully...I take care of everybody.

    Also, as far as neatness goes, my fish tanks are about the only thing I can keep very very neat, the rest of the house - it's enough for my toddler to run once through the neatest room to make it look like a tornado aftermath!
     
  16. OP
    OP
    C

    ChiefBrody Valued Member Member

    Does anyone ever feel like the industry exploits our tendency to over do it? Especially now with data collection; it seems they're constantly filling my computer interface with things I really shouldn't be buying. Furthermore it's all junk and can't compare with something I make myself. How long do they intend these products to last? I plan on keeping tanks for years to mature etc... I know I should be able to control myself and I do believe me but sometimes I'm overwhelmed with buyer's remorse

    ... at this point all my friends are fish so it really makes me even crazier when they make products that don't appreciate that and a whole system fails... ultimately it's my fault for building a house of cards I know but they don't make things any easier. And by "they" I mean anyone who does this for a living - must be nice! I'd be a total mess without my aquariums and while they profit off it I just keep working harder. I work because I work. I teach instead of create inner circles. I speak for the fish and I won't let "them" win!
     
  17. California L33

    California L33 Well Known Member Member

    Most 'experts' say that 'addictive' behavior is only a problem when it has a negative effect on people's lives. If you're comparing fish keeping to snorting cocaine and trying to choose one or the other as a hobby, I think fish keeping will have fewer negative effects- if they show up at all. I'll admit my tongue's in cheek here, so maybe this reply isn't as as serious as you'd like, but I quit fish keeping cold turkey more than 20 years ago and didn't suffer any withdrawal symptoms. I've only just reacquired the addiction, but don't actually view my little Betta tank as a serious threat to my health, but I'll watch it ;). As for people with multiple tanks over 300 gallons who spend many thousands of dollars on their hobby- I don't see anything wrong with it if they have the time and money to do it.

    Personally, I think there's something incredible about being able to view, and as best we can, understand the science of these magical little worlds and their strange inhabitants.
     
  18. OP
    OP
    C

    ChiefBrody Valued Member Member

    don't get me wrong every region seems to have that 1 decent store and grateful we all are for them but for the most part I see pirates online, multiple products being offered at different prices indicating unnecessary middlemen etc - who are these guys??? Many ppl depend on the web as their primary source of information and it used to be the safer alternative to television, now it's just all bad/spun and how's a kid just getting started supposed to know which way is up? The science is the only supreme authority to defer to. Its not open to interpretation. Anyone new to the hobby can have a bad first experience and never wanna keep fish again and that's unfortunate. If they have the information anyone can have success with these fish. Some of which are only surviving in captivity now. It's a huge effort I take seriously
     
  19. California L33

    California L33 Well Known Member Member

    The other way of looking at it is that capitalism is working. If there was only one supplier of a product s/he could name his or her own price. With multiple suppliers they must compete against each other or get no sales. It's up to you to determine whether that seller is reputable and can give you advice you can use or is just trying to 'move product' and if s/he doesn't make enough on aquarium products will switch to cosmetics or bulk fertilizers because it's all the same to them.
     
  20. NavigatorBlack

    NavigatorBlack Fishlore VIP Member

    I have seen it be an addiction thing - the person who roars in, buys ten tanks and then flames out in a year, going to another passion. It certainly exists.
    As an introvert's hobby, it also appeals to... introverts. But I have known successful aquarists who were total party animals.

    The interesting thing is you can take MTS, or aquarium keeping out of the original statement, and put in employment, studies, etc. into the same spot in the sentence. Everything I have seen people do with aquarium keeping is something that could be seen in my job, in life. I know musicians whose dedication to a non paying pastime surpasses my aquarium keeping. We often fear people with passions for learning, and tear them down. I have friends with gardens, woodworking tools, knitting clubs, evening soccer leagues, hunting or fishing pastimes - it is all similar. If you respect people who work for skills, knowledge, creativity - then fishkeeping is a sub category in that world.

    I see it on a different level than over-eating or starving, alcoholism, gambling or sex addiction because there is no self harm in this. I have learned things from aquariums that have changed or demolished deeply held beliefs. I expect that was a good thing. I have never destroyed a relationship, maimed myself or harmed anyone else with this hobby.

    Every industry exploits our interests, be it aquariums, cars, music, sports - everything is supposed to be monetized according to my business oriented aquarist friends. Sure there are crooks, snake oil sellers, fraudsters and the whole range in the aquarium hobby. They are everywhere, from churches to politics to schools and business. I just walked through a health food store (needed Daphnia food) and the claims being made for foods and their benefits were comical. You educate yourself, get educated by people you respect, and keep a skeptical eye. We are all in the same boat.